Monday, December 24, 2012

immune boosters

I have always been a super-hardy individual.  Little viruses, colds, headaches - they tend to pass me by.  I hate taking medicine for superficial stuff, and can usually kick anything with a nap and lots of water. 

Until this pregnancy.

Ho.  Ly.  Crap.  I have a horrible chest cold right now, which makes probably the fifth or sixth time I've gotten seriously, miserably ill in the past 21 weeks.  I know that pregnancy is a natural time of immune suppression, so that your body doesn't recognize the fetus as a parasitic attacker and terminate.  But sakes alive, I did not have this problem in my first pregnancy.  Perhaps having a toddler wiping her snot on your face and sticking her fingers in your mouth all day is not helping anything.  I've had a couple of the worst stomach viruses I've gotten in recent memory, a few colds including this one, and get this:  I used to have tiny seed warts on my hands as a little girl.  About ten years ago, they just went away.  I think my immune system sent the virus into hiding.  Guess what?  Since I've been pregnant this time, they're back!  It's the weirdest thing.  I will get a sore spot on a finger or my palm where a wart is popping up.  I will start to feel the raised spot, and then in a few days it will go away.  My body is really getting a run for its money right now.

So, what's a gal to do? 

One of my strategies is to eat something fermented, and preferably raw, with every meal.  My go-tos are:  yogurt (homemade, or Stonyfield Farms or Cascade Fresh if not).

Sauerkraut (haven't done homemade in ages, but I love Bubbie's).

Kombucha (time to culture a new mother!  I let it go at the beginning of the pregnancy, but I simply cannot justify the exorbitant cost of storebought kombucha).

And I want to get some kefir grains and start culturing some of our raw milk into kefir!

Supplemental things that can help are:

Elderberry syrup.

And probiotics!  Don't forget that gut health and immune health are inextricably intertwined.  If one isn't doing well, the other is bound to have some problems as well.

What are your dietary and home remedies for boosting your immunity?

No comments: